In the spring there’ll be a new, OMNIBUS edition of my A SONG CALLED YOUTH trilogy: Eclipse, Eclipse Penumbra and Eclipse Corona.
Re editing for the new edition, I found this, written in the 1980s:
…new camera-linked computer that monitored the entry of strangers into a subscribing neighborhood — deliverymen, workmen of all kinds, would-be renters, shoppers: all were monitored. The system looked for type-anomalies, such as racial variations, economic class variations, clothing style varia¬tions; a scaling up of type anomalies might mean the neighborhood was in danger, would send a signal or hyperalertness.
The neighborhood security team that used a TADS — Type Anomalies Discrimination System — protects its neighborhood in advance, the commercial suggested soothingly. The slogan: “TADS weeds out weirdos!”
“There you go,” Smoke said, tapping the words appearing at the bottom of the screen under the TADS ad: A Second Alliance International Security Corporation product …
Sound familiar? The trilogy was prescient in more ways than one. It predicted Koch-brothers type astroturfing, media control as it’s being done now, international armies for hire, and a return of neofascism. It also predicted outfits like “Anonymous” and wikileaks.
We’re about to sign the papers for this new re-release of all three books in one volume–once that’s done I’ll announce the publisher. The deal is made but I like to sign the papers before announcing all the details…
While we’re at it, here’s something more from Eclipse Penumbra, that might sound familiar to watchers of Fox News and astroturfing media campaigns:
“In the hands of the Second Alliance the grid saturates the public with wave after wave of pseudo-information, each wave hitting all the local receiving centers, the cities, more or less simultaneously. There’s more, and coming faster, than ever before. Doesn’t matter if it’s a lie or not, it’s all information.
“People receive the information simultaneously, and they soak it up passively. If for example the government claims there’s a new strain of AIDS that you get only from talking to antiwar-activists, then fifty-seven percent of the people hooked into the Grid will believe the antiwar-activist-AIDS story implicitly, instantly. Everyone they run into has heard the same thing. They all got it at once. So it seems to confirm itself by its very instantaneous prevalence. Since no real substance exists in this hypothetical broadcast, there’s nothing much to stimulate questioning. There’s simply the basic bullshit story line, and ‘testimony’ from a few ‘experts’ the government keeps on tap for when it needs their tailor-made quotes to give the appearance of credibility. Maybe a visual flash of a chart to give us an impression that some serious study’s been done. And bang! everyone believes it. And it becomes ‘true’ for the public, as a kind of Consensus Reality develops from the instantaneousness and ubiquity of the story. That sort of thing makes the Grid a powerful tool for shaping society.
“And none of this was lost on Crandall and the other planners for the SA. The SA had the foresight to buy the world’s biggest PR outfit, Worldtalk.